A Kent village is claiming victory over Tesco after the multiple scrapped plans to convert a former pub into an Express store amid local opposition.

Tesco had planned to convert the site in the village of Herne, but locals objected to the proposal due to the village’s conservation status and the site’s location next to a 700-year-old church - as well as the potential impact on the village shop.

The Herne Against Tesco (HAT) campaign organised a protest march attended by more than 700 people. The following week Tesco pulled the plug on the plans.

“They have cited highways issues as their principle reason for not going ahead, but it is widely acknowledged by those in the know that the Herne Against Tesco campaign played a major part in helping Tesco make up its mind,” a HAT spokesman said.

The HAT committee will now focus on an alternative community use for the former Upper Red Lion pub to stop another multiple moving in.

Priya Kumani, who runs Herne Village Store and Post Office with her husband, said the plans would have definitely put them out of business.

“We’re the only shop left. There used to be a number of other shops, including a newsagents, butcher and a baker, but they all closed because of the multiples opening up nearby.

“We’re so lucky the residents are behind us. Lots of people have told us they have cancelled their Tesco Clubcards and written to the managing director of Tesco. They want the village to remain a village.”

Meanwhile, Tesco has confirmed it plans to transform a historic former pub, The Swan and Sugar Loaf, in Croydon, Surrey, into an Express store, just months after opening another Tesco Express in nearby George Street.